YOKOHAMA -- An unsold cat with a leg disability, a blind feline left crying in a paddy field and a pet returned to a store due to biting problems are just a few of the animals now living at a cat cafe in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, which will hold a workshop on rescued cats for elementary and junior high school children.
The event, to be held on Feb. 15, is an attempt by "Cat Cafe Miysis" to let children bond with felines so they can directly relate to the issue. It will be held jointly with "Neko Neko-bu," a digital media outlet known for its efforts to spread information on shelter cats.
At the workshop, limited to children and their parents or guardians, participants will not only play with the animals, but make posters to spread information on shelter cats and learn ways to protect the lives of stray felines. They will also learn about efforts to spay or neuter feral cats and return them to their home outdoors, and to find new owners.
"We would like participants to feel as if the cats here are their friends, and let it be an opportunity for them to think about why their 'friends' had to live on the streets," said cafe owner Ayumi Nose.
Of the 32 cats at Miysis, some had to part ways with their owners due to various reasons while others were found living on the street.
Kairu, a Siberian cat native to Russia, was returned by a customer who bought the feline directly from a department store operator. Shii-chan was found with a missing eye when it was rescued on a road in the middle of a rice field. Torakichi was a stray who received food from an elderly woman living on her own. The cat had visited the woman every day, but she had to move away.
All cats here live in peace and receive loving care from staff members and customers.
Miysis is also looking to find new owners for the animals, and at least 300 felines have "graduated" from the cafe so far. "Like us, cats have different personalities, and like us, they each have a life," said the 49-year-old cafe owner. She explained, "We would like children to think about how to improve society (to live in harmony) with cats."
The workshop will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 15, with an admission fee of 700 yen for children and 1,000 yen for adults. One adult can bring along up to three children. Elementary school children need to be accompanied by those aged at least 18.
For more inquiries, please access Neko Neko-bu's official website at: https://nekonekobu.jp/kodomoneko-event/ (in Japanese).
(Japanese original by Maki Nakajima, Web Operation/News Flash Group)